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324

CHARLES'S HASTY INTERMENT.

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and had been inclosed in an elm one of two inches in thickness, but this was decayed and lay in small fragments near it. The leaden coffin appeared to have been beaten in by violence about the middle, and a considerable opening in that part of it exposed a mere skeleton of the King! Some beard remained on the chin, but there was nothing to discriminate the personage contained in it. The smaller coffin, understood to be that of Queen Jane Seymour, was not touched, mere curiosity not being considered by The PRINCE REgent as a sufficient motive for disturbing these remains.

“ From Lord Clarendon's account, as well as from Mr, Herbert's Narrative (the monarch's faithful sere vant) of the interment of King CHARLES, it is to be inferred that the ceremony was a very hasty one, performed in the presence of the governor, who had refused to allow the service, according to the Book of Common Prayer, to be used on the occasion, and had, probably, scarcely admitted the time necessary for the decent deposit of The Body! It is not unlikely, therefore, that the coffin of King Henry THE EIGHTH had been injured by a precipitate introduction of the coffin of King Charles, and that the governor was not under the influence of feelings in those times which gave him any concern about royal remains, or the vault which contained them.”

It is at all titnes curious to meet with the account of the discovery of the BODIES of illustrious personages after their interment; but we read with deep

PRINCESS AMELIA'S INTERMENT.

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interest a sketch of the examination of these two ROYAL PERSONAGES whose reigns occupy so conspicuous and broad a space in the annals of our country.

Adjoining to the east end of St. GEORGE's CHAPEL is a stone edifice, built by Henry the Seventh, as a burial place for himself and successors; but that monarch having soon after determined on a similar design at Westminster, the building was neglected, till Cardinal Wolsey obtained a grant of it from Henry the Eighth, as a burial place for himself. Hence its name, WOLSEY'S TOMB-HOUSE. The Cardinal's disgrace soon following, it was abandoned after immense sums had been expended upon it. In 1646 the republican party plandered it, and James the Second converted it into a chapel for his beloved Popery. In 1800 his Majesty ordered it to be repaired, and it has become a royal Sepulchre.

The first branch of The Royal Family deposited was the late amiable Princess Amelia, who died Nov. 1810, in the twenty-seventh year of her age. And on the night of November 14, 1810," the funeral procession was formed from Augusta Lodge, flanked by the Royal Horse Guards Blue, every fourth man bearing a flambeau. Upon entering the choir THE Body was placed on tressels, the head towards the altar, the coronet and cushion on the coffin. The chief mourner, Countess of Chesterfield, sat at the head of the corpse, her supporters on either side, and the supporters of the pall in their places near the

326

PRINCESS AMELIA'S INTERMENT.

body. During the service, which was read by the Honourable and very Reverend the Dean of Windsor, the Prince of WALES and his val brothers, as well as the Knights of the Garter present, occupied their respective stalls. The nobility, privy counsellors and officers of the household, as well as others who had followed the body, were placed in the vacant and intermediate stalls. The ladies attendant were in the seats below the stalls, on the north side nearest the altar; the grooms of the bed-chamber, physicians, rector, and curate of Windsor, surgeon and apothecary and solicitor to her late Royal Highness, in the seat below the stalls on the south side nearest the altar; the esquires and the Queen's and Princesses' other attendants in the front seats on either side. The pages were arranged below the altar. The part of the service before the interment and the anthem being performed, the procession moved out of the choir, flanked by the Royal Horse Guards Blue, to the place of burial behind the altar. The BODY being deposited in the vault prepared for it, the ceremony was completed, and the service concluded. Sir Isaac Heard Garter, after a short pause, pronounced, near the grave, the style of her late Royal HIGHNESS, as follows :

“ Thus it hath pleased ALMIGHTY GOD to take out of this transitory life, unto his divine mercy, the late most illustrious Princess Amelia, sixth and youngest daughter of his Most Excellent Majesty GEORGE THE THIRD, by the grace of God of the

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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, whom God bless and preserve with long life, health, and all worldly happiness!"

These instances of mortality in the highest class of the community, forcibly remind us of the words of the prophet ISAIAH (which were made the basis of a Discourse, preached and published by me on this mournful occasion) -All flesh is grass and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field; the grass withereth and the flower fadeth, but THE Word of the Lord endureth for ever!

In visiting these repositories of the dead, be it the Collegiate Chapel at Windsor or Westminster Abbey, where Kings, Heroes and Statésmen lie mingled together in one common abode of silence and putréfaction--certain ancient stanzas, written during the earliest part of the reign of Charles the First, rush upon the mind with an impressive sublimity :

The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour agaiust Fate,
Death lays his icy band 'on Kings.

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade!

Some men 'with swords may reap the field

And plant fresh laurels where they kill,
But their strong nerves at last must yield,

They tame but one another stilt.

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ORDER OF THE GARTER.

Early or late

They stoop to Fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death!

The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death's purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds!

All Heads must come

To the cold tomb;
Only the actions of the Just
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust!

SHIRLEY.

Turning away from this melancholy topic of more? tality, I shall conclude my 'epistle with an account of the Institution of THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GÅRTER. Its origin, progress and present state will yield no small gratification. In the annals of chivalry it is invested with a luminous and full-orbed glory.

Of its origin, various have been the accounts. Some say THE ORDER OF THE GARTER is derived from a superstitious custom of the Phænicians, who, as an amulet, to guard them against shipwreck, encircled their bodies with a blue or purple fillet. Others ascribe it to Richard Caur de Lion, who bound a leathern strap round the legs of his bravest warriors, as a badge of merit, at the siege of Acon, on the borders of Palestine. A third class derive it from the circumstance of EDWARD the Third having given Garter as a watch-word at the battle of Cressy. And, lastly, Polydore Virgil, a writer in the time of

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